When blood pressure goes unchecked, it can lead to complications such as heart disease and stroke.
One of your first lines of defense against high blood pressure (hypertension) is your diet. Adopting a blood pressure-friendly diet may help keep your blood pressure within a healthy range without the side effects caused by medications.
In addition to certain foods that may help lower your blood pressure, some types of drinks may also be helpful.
In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into 7 different types of drinks that may help lower your blood pressure.
- Tomato juice
Growing evidence suggests that drinking one glass of tomato juice per day may promote heart health.
In a 2019 studyTrusted Source, Japanese researchers evaluated the effects of drinking an average of one cup of tomato juice per day among participants with risk factors for heart disease.
They concluded that tomato juice improved both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as LDL cholesterol. Other recent studies have reported similar results among people with stage 1 hypertension and pregnant women.
To avoid unnecessary sodium, which can have the opposite effect on blood pressure, make sure to buy unsalted tomato juice.
- Beet juice
Not only do these colorful, low-calorie vegetables contain a host of health-promoting vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds, but they may also help lower blood pressure.
A randomized pilot study from 2016Trusted Source found that the juice of both raw and cooked beets improved blood pressure. However, raw beet juice had a greater impact on blood pressure.
Beets are rich in dietary nitrates, a compound known to have blood pressure-lowering effects. In a 2017 reviewTrusted Source, researchers found that these benefits were greater than the effects of nitrates alone.
In other words, other heart-friendly compounds are likely at play as well.
Try this simple beetroot juice recipe to lower blood pressure.
- Prune juice
Prune juice has long been known to help alleviate constipation. But one of prune juice’s lesser-known health benefits is that it also lowers blood pressure.
This effect was reported in a 2010 studyTrusted Source. Researchers compared three groups: one group ate three prunes per day, a second group ate six prunes per day, and a third group didn’t eat any prunes.
The researchers reported a significant reduction in blood pressure among people who ate a single dose of three prunes per day. People who ate six prunes per day experienced an additional reduction in systolic blood pressure.
Moreover, both three- and six-prune doses were found to also lower LDL cholesterol. To take advantage of these effects, drink a glass of 100-percent prune juice or make your own by blending soaked prunes.
- Pomegranate juice
Not only are pomegranates rich in nutrients such as folate and vitamin C, they also boast potent anti-inflammatory effects. It may come as no surprise, then, that pomegranate juice can contribute to a heart-healthy diet.
A 2016 literature review of eight randomized, controlled trials found that consuming pomegranate juice may help lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
The effects on systolic blood pressure were independent of how long participants consumed pomegranate juice for and how much. The researchers recommend a dose of at least 240 milliliters to reduce diastolic blood pressure. If you decide to add pomegranate juice to your diet, make sure it’s 100-percent juice with no added sugar.
- Berry juice
Like pomegranates, berries — especially blueberries — are known for their antioxidant properties. However, less is known about their heart benefits.
A 2020 review reported that drinking cranberry or cherry juice may improve blood pressure.
Another reviewTrusted Source published in Nature in 2016 found that consuming berries lowered both systolic blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.
In both cases, the researchers concluded that berries likely have cardiovascular benefits, but more research needs to be done to clarify their role in preventing and controlling heart disease.
If you opt for store-bought berry juice, make sure it doesn’t contain any added sugar.
- Skim milk
Low-fat dairy products such as skim milk and yogurt are a key component of Dietary Strategies to Stop Hypertension, a science-based set of recommendations for preventing and treating high blood pressure.
In a 2011 literature review involving 45,000 adults, researchers examined the intake of low- and high-fat dairy products and how each affected blood pressure. They concluded that the consumption of low-fat milk was associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure.
Try to get two to three servings of low-fat milk products per day. You can drink a glass with your meals, or add it to cereal or a smoothie. Steamed skim milk also makes a great addition to coffee.
When it comes to blood pressure, not all teas are created equal. A 2014 literature reviewTrusted Source of randomized controlled trials compared the effects of black and green tea consumption on blood pressure. The researchers reported that long-term intake of both types of tea lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, the reduction in blood pressure was more significant for green tea.
What about coffee and alcohol?
Both coffee and alcohol can have varied effects on blood pressure.
The effect of coffee on blood pressure has been a longstanding source of controversy in the scientific community.
Caffeine appears to create a temporary spike in blood pressure. But this effect may be less pronounced among regular coffee drinkers. Some past research has suggested that long-term coffee consumption is associated with an increased risk of hypertension.
But according to a 2017 literature review of 34 studies, moderate coffee consumption is safe, and perhaps even beneficial for both healthy people and those with high blood pressure.
If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, you probably don’t need to cut out coffee. With that said, it might not be the best time to start drinking coffee if you don’t already.
As with coffee, alcohol’s effect on blood pressure is complicated.
Moderate alcohol consumption — that’s one drink per day for women and two per day for men — was once thought to lower blood pressure. But recent research suggests that even moderate drinking may poses risks to heart health.
In addition, blood pressure medications and alcohol don’t mix.
When it comes to alcohol consumption, the recommendation likely isn’t the same for everyone. If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor to find out what’s considered a safe level of alcohol consumption for you.
Medically reviewed by Jenneh Rishe